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Robert D. Crowley ’49

Robert Dennis Crowley ’49, April 7, 2004, in Portland. Bob began his studies in 1941, and, after serving in the U.S. Army Air Corp band during World War II, returned to Reed and completed requirements to become the college’s first music graduate. His further studies included work in counterpoint and composition, and an MA from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1962. Bob cofounded the Community Music Center in Portland, and was an instructor. He taught music theory, history, and analysis at Portland State College (University) for 23 years. His numerous compositions included selections for string quartets and string orchestra, brass quintets, an oratorio, incidental music for plays, music for choreography, film scores, and a short opera. He performed publicly on trumpet, double bass, viola da gamba, guitar, and soprano recorder, and studied music intently throughout his life. Bob's support for social issues included an active participation in the peace movement and in the Oregon Committee to Abolish the House Un-American Activities Committee. He once stated that the structure and traditions of Reed, "and the virtues of several individuals," was an optimum setting for his academic and personal development. "It was live-and-let-live, patient, supportive of initiative . . . a place in which to grow; in which, so to speak, to become human." He married Barbara Davis in 1949; they had three children, and later divorced. Survivors include his wife, Mary Macarthur Fleming, his son and two daughters, and three grandchildren.

Appeared in Reed magazine: November 2004

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